The Simple Things February 2021

The Simple Things is a beautiful, useful, quirky and fun magazine about taking time to live well. We cover mindfulness and microadventures, eating and growing, forgotten wisdom, home life and slow moments. It's for people who love their lives but want to take the pressure off and remember what’s really important. We like tea & cake, learning stuff, being outside and the satisfaction of a job well done. Do you?

United Kingdom
Iceberg Press Limited
特別販売: Get 40% OFF with code: READ40
12 号



At first glance, February seems a month empty of amusement, especially this year, nearing the end of the most discontented of winters. But take another look and you’ll find the exuberance and optimism of Chinese New Year and the urge to sow and grow that arrives with the ancient festival of Imbolc. Shrove Tuesday provides an opportunity to make, toss, share and scoff pancakes and, of course, there is St Valentine’s Day, the most Marmite of calendar dates, yet still an invitation to remind loved ones that we care. They can all be embraced at home or marked with a small, thoughtful act of celebration; providing much-needed punctuation to stop the weeks blurring, while also seeing us through to the first glimpses of spring. Take heart, the year is turning.…

february almanac

New habit Take an evening stroll for a bit of fresh air and headspace (they’re not just for summer). You might spot wildlife you don’t often see (or simply get to nose in a few lit windows). LOCAL LORE Every other February, Slaithwaite in West Yorks holds a Moonraking Festival to remember the smugglers almost caught retrieving their contraband from a local pond. To evade capture, they posed as ‘simpletons’ raking the pond for the ‘cheese’ (the moon’s reflection). Nature spot Plants you might see in flower this month Crocus Cyclamen Iris reticulata Goat willow Alder IN SEASON FORCED RHUBARB With its bright pink stems and fluorescent green leaves, forced rhubarb brings a bit of colour to the kitchen. It differs from field rhubarb in that it’s grown indoors in the dark, which ‘forces’ the fruit to come early*. Sweeter and more delicate…

february devotional

HEART We’ve been considering the word ‘heart’ this month, in all its meanings: romance, courage, the centre of something… It’s a multi-faceted word for sure. The expression ‘in my heart of hearts’ was coined by Shakespeare, who knew a thing or two about matters of the heart. Hamlet tells Horatio: “Give me that man, That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him in my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of hearts. As I do thee.” So, it represents, as you might guess, the very centre of one’s heart, the most safe and loved place of all. Sit quietly for a few minutes, breathing deeply, and put one hand on your chest so you can feel your heartbeat. And contemplate as you do what treasures you keep in your…

heart, body and soul rosemary

ROSEMARY Plant, grow and eat Robust in form and flavour, rosemary is a staple of both garden and kitchen. It’s one of those herbs, always lurking in the cupboard, that can feel so familiar we forget to experiment with it. As a rule of thumb, in the kitchen rosemary is a winter herb, at its best during the central-heating months and its pairings reflect that. Surprisingly adaptable, rosemary brings heartiness to a stew or casserole, a fragrant touch to breads, and takes roast veg to new heights of flavour. The ritual of brushing your fingers through its waxy green needles is impossible to resist, thanks to the herb’s terpenoids (those medicinal, almost eucalyptus-like notes) that stay on your hands for hours. Rosemary is pungent, but if you’d like a bit more fragrance alongside your…

the wanderer returns

During this longest of winters, starting to think about when we can venture out into the world again and filling up some of the empty spaces on the calendar (even if it’s only in pencil for now) can offer a psychological lift from what can feel like eternal groundhog days. Psychotherapist Ruairi Stewart (happy-whole.mykajabi. com) says that planning a trip, even if it’s still some way off, is a great way to shift perspective and raise spirits. “As human beings we spend a lot of time in our minds, thinking about the future,” he says. “Planning a positive experience, like a trip away, will give you something to focus your attention on and provide an escape from your current routine.” GOOD EXPERIENCE Whilst buying something can give you a temporary mood boost, research shows…

armchair travel

• Follow blogs written by people living in countries you’re interested in. Look at the My City series in old copies of The Simple Things for inspiration. • Read novels and watch films set in the countries you’re keen to visit or immerse yourself in a travel TV series. • Look back at old holiday photos and let the memories transport you away. • Plot places you’ve been to and those you want to visit on a map – a visual reminder makes it feel more tangible. • There’s a lot of virtual travel available. Google Earth has 360 degree virtual tours, as does National Geographic, while Airbnb offers experiences from locals. Check out…